Erasmus Mundus - Al Idrisi II: A scholarship scheme for exchange and cooperation between Europe and North Africa is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 - Strand 1 partnership for Lot 1 (Algeria, Egypt, Ligya, Morocco, Tunisia) that will establish an active institution-based mobility network among 19 North African and EU partner universities and 6 associate universities supported by 3 associate institutions and the Ministries of Higher Education in the region. The project will allow undergraduate, master and doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and academic and administrative staff to gain valuable experience, knowledge and contacts abroad. Some North African students will even have the possibility to return to their home countries holding a relevant master or doctoral degree. The project focuses strongly on regional needs in North Africa and the development of specific and relevant areas that were defined by the partners. Furthermore, the project will provide improved education and training opportunities for vulnerable groups and socio- economically disadvantaged students and promote equal access to higher education for students from less developed areas.
- To set up a renewed institution-based sustainable Europe-North Africa mobility network focusing on regional needs
- To promote the forthcoming EU educational programmes (Erasmus+, Horizon 2020) and help to prepare the partner and associate universities for increased mobility flows
- To produce a pool of 288 well-trained and responsible students, post-doctoral fellows and staff
- To provide improved education and training opportunities for vulnerable groups and socio-economically disadvantaged students and scholars
- To promote equal access to higher education for students and scholars from less developed regions
- To foster the teaching and research capacity at the partner universities
- To promote mutual understanding and enhanced political, cultural, educational and economic linkage between the European Union and North Africa
- To transfer knowledge, know-how and experience between Europe and North Africa
- To set up, promote and support international cooperation cells in research, teaching and administration
- To promote common areas of higher education and explore opportunities for the development of joint degree programmes and co-supervision of doctoral candidates
- To set up an alumni network
- To detect and benefit from synergies with partner projects
Since its main goal is to set up a mobility scheme for exchange of students and staff between the European Union and the five North African countries Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, the project is conceived as a multilateral network of universities that operates on two levels: a global structural and a local operative level. The global structural level concerns the policy of the consortium as a whole and the common rules and standards required for a smooth organization of the mobility flows. The local operative level concerns the implementation of the mobility flows at each partner university and is dealt with by a Local Operative Unit. The activities to be carried out at the global structural level are conferred to the Partnership Coordination Board (PCB) consisting of one representative of each partner university. For the sake of an increased and simplified operability, the Partnership Coordination Board elected two committees among its members: The Advisory and Selection Committee (ASC) and the Quality Assurance Committee (QAS). The project coordinator (Universidad de Granada) will establish a Project Management Unit (PMU) at its International Office that is assisted by a Co-Coordination Unit (CCU) set up at the Université Hassan 1er (Settat, Morocco). Together with the set of Local Operative Units they will be in charge for the implementation and coordination of the project.
Dissemination and visibility
The partnership will put into practice a common visibility, awareness rising and promotion strategy for the project and its mobility scheme. Based on the structure of the different target groups, a twofold approach will be followed: A local visibility campaign in order to increase the awareness for intra-consortium mobility flows and a nationwide campaign with a special focus on less favoured regions and social strata. The Project Management Unit assisted by the Co-Coordination Unit (CCU) will pay regular personalized promotion visits to selected partner and associate universities, embassies and consulates of participating European Countries and the EU Delegations in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. A comprehensive website (http://www.al-idrisi.eu) will contain all the basic information about the project and its partners, an explication of the scholarship scheme, the call for applications with clear information about the admission requirements and the selection mechanism, access to newsletters, a section with frequently asked questions, etc.
An impartial and transparent selection process is one of the cornerstones of the project. It will work exclusively on the basis of merit and equal opportunities for all targeted students and scholars taking into account also the cross-cutting requirements of gender-balance and real participation of socio-economically disadvantaged people.
Service and support for grantees
The International Offices or equivalent structures at each partner university will play a key role managing the incoming and outgoing mobility flows of the grantees. They will help and guide the incoming students and scholars, provide assistance for obtaining visa and residence permits, and give all the necessary administrative support and orientation. The Local Operative Units at the host universities will assign a supervisor or contact person to each incoming student or scholar. They will organize regular individual and joint meetings with the grantees that will allow problems to be detected and possibly avoided at a very early stage. The quality assurance policy will be defined by the Partnership Coordination Board and then entrusted to the Quality Assurance Committee for implementation and monitoring.
The quality of the project will be assessed on a strategic and an operative level. The strategic level refers to the achievement of the general objectives and the specific goals. The quality control on an operative level will address the performance of the project during its life time and focus on the detection of weak points and possibilities for improvements. A final global evaluation will be performed by an external expert provided by one of the associates.
The partnership will continuously identify international projects that target or allow for academic cooperation between North Africa and Europe (Tempus, LLP, FP7, ..., Erasmus+, Horizon 2020) and invite them to become a partner project, to determine synergies and possible ways of collaboration. Mutual support will allow the partner projects not only to benefit from additional visibility and dissemination channels but also to gain increased operability and effectiveness.
Transfer of knowledge and know-how
Transfer of know-how and, of course, the expertise gained will be enhanced through a series of workshops and seminars that will usually be organized in connection with the Partnership Coordination Board meetings. The list of possible topics includes (a) support services and structures for international mobility, (b) bi- and multilateral recognition of study periods and degrees, (c) quality assurance in mobility, (d) academic cooperation: joint and multiple degree programs, etc. On request of the partners, these seminars can also be included in the awareness rising campaigns.
Brain drain prevention
In order to avoid brain drain, the project will adopt a series of measures and agreements for any type of mobility and target group. In particular, the project partners will be encouraged to promote long-term academic collaboration through joint research, teaching and other cooperation activities that will open up an additional window for a prosperous future for the scholars after having returned to their home institutions.
International Cooperation Cells (ICC)
International Cooperation Cells (ICCs) are a structured way to promote and consolidate cooperation channels that were or will be opened with the help of Erasmus Mundus - Al Idrisi scholarships. They will be proposed by former or future grantees and tackle specific topics in research, teaching, training or administration among at least one partner or associate university in Europe and one in North Africa. Selected International Cooperation Cells will have preference for 6 months doctorate, 6 months post-doctoral and/or 1 month staff grants during the 2nd and eventually also the 3rd call for Erasmus Mundus - Al Idrisi scholarships.
Comment: If you would like to read this information for the first edition of Erasmus Mundus - Al Idrisi, please click on the following link: Al Idrisi I: The project